Galveston ★★½

It takes far too long for “Galveston” to emerge from the novocaine of its various clichés and allow us to feel the tender flesh that bleeds across every scene of this seedy road noir, but — in fairness to director Mélanie Laurent — some filmmakers are never able to break the leathered skin of a Nic Pizzolatto story (see: “True Detective” season two. Better yet; don’t). Adapted from a well-received novel of the same name that Pizzolatto wrote prior to his success on premium cable, “Galveston” is draped with all the self-serious despair that looms above the author’s infamous HBO series, but it crucially lacks the same capacity for bullshit. At a tight 87 minutes, the movie just doesn’t have time to dance around the task at hand. If anything, this reheated serving of meat-and-potatoes crime fiction is so to the point and in the moment that it doesn’t even seem to invite any deeper meaning until its unexpected final moments.

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